The Patience of the Saints

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The Three Angels’ Messages summarize the final proclamation of God’s mercy and love to a dying planet (Revelation 14:6-12). While these messages are what God’s remnant proclaims, what is the pre-eminent character quality we are to have during earth’s final turbulent hours? Endurance! We find this character quality in Revelation 14:12, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (KJV), alternately rendered, “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the faith of Jesus” (NRSV).

The word for “patience” is hupomone, meaning “steadfast endurance” or “endurance.” In the final struggle between Christ and Satan, God’s faithful remnant are to manifest steadfast endurance. Why? Because they face global economic coercion and are beset by an overwhelming delusion calculated to cause their eternal destruction. Nothing more. Nothing less. Hence, endurance is the character quality above all others for these end times.

In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus taught, “But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance” (Luke 8:15 NRSV). So, an honest and good heart, when it hears the Word of God, requires endurance to bear fruit to God’s glory. In Luke 21:17-19 (NRSV), Jesus affirmed that “You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.”

In Romans 2:6-7 (NRSV), the prize for endurance is eternal life: “For He will repay according to each one’s deeds:  to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life.” In Romans 5:3, we learn that suffering actually produces endurance, ultimately leading to character and then hope. As God Himself is the “God of steadfastness” (Romans 15:5), so in endurance, we are reflecting God’s character. As the imprisoned Apostle John could write, “I, John, your brother who share with you in Jesus the persecution and the kingdom and the patient endurance . . .” (Revelation 1:9 NRSV), so as we are found in Christ, we can endure whatever persecution the end-time powers throw at us.

Why do I write thus? Because the gloves have come off in the Great Controversy. Satan’s attacks are everywhere evident. Falsehood rules the public square. The end-time triumvirate of the Papacy, apostate Protestantism and the occult are gathering force worldwide. Agendas for global control, once carefully disguised, are now openly declared. Digital currencies and IDs, together with health verification passports, are leading inexorably to a digital dungeon. The scaffolding for Revelation 13:15-18’s global economic coercion is being erected before our very eyes. Now is when the eyes of the universe are fixed on the saints of God. Will they? Won’t they? Will they endure to the end and be saved, or not?

Whether we are AFM missionaries, prayer partners or sacrificial donors, as persecution and suffering increase, so does our endurance. Through endurance, we gain the prize of eternal life. So whether in good or hard times, with our eyes on the eternal prize, we commit to redoubling our efforts to bring the gospel to every unreached people group, for then the end will come, all human suffering will come to an end, and the need for hupomone is no more. Hallelujah!

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